Craig Banyard

Craig Banyard

County Development Officer

Why did you join the RBSRA Committee?

To 'serve to strive and not to yield' as quoted by my former PE teacher. I contacted former Chairman Sandy Burnett, about squash matters and he asked me to do my level 1 coaching course and help Andras with our schools programme. I was then also seconded on to the committee. I agreed to help out, as I wanted to pay back for some of the benefits I have received over the years - including long-lasting friendships, personal development, confidence, health and the wonderous experience of representing Berkshire at junior Inter County Championships. Also, when my club Greenacres was sold to property developers, like other squash clubs in the county, I felt compelled to help turn the tide and revive squash back to its 'hay days'.

 

Where and when did you start playing squash?

I started playing at the age of 11 and was introduced by my best friend's parents, who were both very active. I soon attended a Saturday morning junior club at AWE in Aldermaston and then received coaching from Nick and Chris Jarrett. Sadly, like many teenagers, I drifted away from the sport in my late teens and only returned to the game later in life, after moving back to Newbury and re-connecting with my old Berkshire junior squash buddies. I then progressed to playing boxes and team squash quickly rekindled my love for the sport.

 

Who was your biggest influencer in the game?
I owe my love for the game to my best mate's Mum, Olive, for dragging me along to Saturday morning junior squash sessions with Nick and Chris Jarret, who also really helped me as a junior - I practically lived at Aldermaston squash club as a teenager! Our county junior squad manager was also really helpful and introduced me to some great coaches, such as Stuart Milton, Steve Dodridge and Justin Cook. In addition, I had the pleasure of training with Brian Patterson as part of the Southern Area squad, which was awe inspiring - especially training with the top Southern Area players such as Tim Vail and Mark Heather. All of these players/coaches helped me in some ways.

 

What was your most important squash development?
Getting my level 1 coaching qualification and learning how to deliver fun and well structured group coaching sessions, accommodating different ages, abilities and interest levels has been the most rewarding development I can think of. Realising I am inspiring a new generation of potential squashers with a couple already interested in becoming a coach!

 

What was your most significant squash event?
Being reintroduced to RBSRA, after playing county leagues, following a long absence from squash. This resulted in being asked to join the RBSRA committee, which I also find extremely rewarding and am looking forward to rejuvenating squash in Berkshire.

 

What is your proudest squash moment?
Being part of the Berkshire Under 16s squad that won promotion at the Intercounty Club Championships.   

 

What other squash successes have you had?

The participation benefits to my life outweigh my achievements. However, as a junior, I won the Aldermaston junior championships in 1990 and 1992. In addition, I won the County Plate Competition at various junior ages and was also runner-up in the main Under 16s event in 1992.

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